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Girls First Las Vegas Trip

We gave Sarah a special gift this year, a paid Vegas vacation for her birthday. She says...The whole flying experience was a little scary but not nearly as terrifying as I expected. However, the airplane was much smaller than I expected. It's amazing because I looked at certain types of people with a little fear in my eyes, analyzing them and watching closely for any terrorist traits. I think I found what I thought to be terrorist traits in all of them. I did arrive safe and sound at my destination so I guess I was wrong. I am so sorry though, that everyone that steps foot on a plane has to have a tiny bit of fear in them somewhere because of what the terrorists did.

On the first flight I sat next to two newlyweds. They were very nice and let me sit by the window and coaxed me through the first turbulence. At first seeing them together and so happy on their honeymoon made me sick and depressed, but then I remembered how much work goes into maintaining a relationship. I am thankful for my single life for now and have my pitbull Saul. The view was amazing from the plane I thought I would be terrified but it was actually so comforting because it made me feel closer to God and heaven.

picture standing in front of caesars palace on the las vegas strip

Las Vegas!!! First of all, as we were hovering over Vegas during the landing process I was shocked. My dad told me to make sure to look out the window because the view was so awesome. But I hadn't expected that many lights!!! The view alone made me so excited to land in this new place. I was so thankful to have landed safely and to begin my vacation with my dad and Kelly but I was sooooo exhausted. As soon as I saw my dad though I felt like I couldn't go to sleep. It was so nice to see him again. My dad has really taught me to live life to the fullest and not take advantage of this beautiful world God has created for us to enjoy. They picked me up from the airport and we drove down the strip. It was sooooo beautiful!!!. TV doesn't do this place justice! There were people of every race walking down the sidewalks and everyone seemed in good moods. I saw some African Americans move out of the way of some white guys on Harley Davidson's and let them go in front of them. It was amazing to me because what I've experienced in life so far, that doesn't happen much. We went to a little restaurant called Peppermill and Fireside Lounge. From the outside it looked average but inside was so nice with beautiful pink trees hovering over all the tables. And, the Fireside Lounge area was very warm, dark and cozy. You have to step down into the area and there are these low to the ground booths and the tables are stone with a little lake and a fire in the lake and above are TVs. It was really cool. I think I have seen that on the 5th Wheel dating show back in the day. lol.

Girls First Las Vegas Trip Pictures

Peppermill and Fireside Lounge - Dad and I lounging after my very first plane trip
Bellagio Fountains - I enjoyed the synchronized music with the fountains
Bellagio Slot Machines - My very first time drinks too!
The Original Pancake House - I couldn't believe the size of this food? Yummy!
Red Rock Conservation Area - Beautiful God-made mountains and sky.
Red Rock Lookout - We had to stop and take a picture every chance we could.
Red Rock Casino Pool - My favorite casino with chandeliers as big as my car.
Mandalay Bay House of Blues Rock Star Karaoke - Rock band backing me up!
Caesar's Palace - I'm glad my head is still on my shoulders, lol.
Caesar's Forum Shops - I loved the ceiling and the feeling of being outside.
Paris Balloon and Eiffel Tower - Dad was so funny getting his hair whipped around!!!
Excalibur Casino - I think the strip looks better at night.
Luxor Casino Light - The family star photographer planning this shot, hehe!!
Paris Casino - I cannot believe all the detail that Vegas puts into their casinos!
Paris Eiffel Tower - Kelly and I goofing off in front of the Eiffel tower.
Cafe Ba Ba Reba - My favorite, bacon-wrapped dates and peach sangria.
Wynn Casino Waterfall - Posing with dad.
Venetian Mall - The art on the ceilings in the casino kept my camera busy.
Tao Nightclub - I've never seen so many beautiful clubs with such big statues.
Italian Gelato - The best ice cream I've ever tasted. It's too pretty to eat.
Rio Observation Deck - My last night before going back to Fort Myers.

Above: She also sang that night with Sarah. She was in utter anguish. Note the musician's actions.

Sunday we woke up and went to dad's church. It was large. The service was very nice. The pastor was extremely smart and I really enjoyed the praise and worship. Then we went to Archie's Thai Bistro. It was a very classy looking little restaurant with a very cute Thai waiter! Hehe. The food was really good. I had never had Thai before.

The Bellagio resort is so romantic looking. The lobby is enchanting. In the lobby, if you look up you'll see a ceiling covered in a display of 2,000 hand-blown glass flowers - the Fiori di Como, created by world-renowned artist, Dale Chihuly. There is a chocolate fountain in a desert shop that goes into the ceiling and down the wall behind a glass covering. It was really amazing, I had never seen anything like it. There is also an area called the "Conservatory & Botanical Gardens", a kaleidoscope for your senses. You just want to stand still and look around for a while to take it all in. Everything was designed with such intricate detail. This area is abounding in fragrance, texture and color. There are exotic plants and flowers filling this area and they decorate it and change the theme for every holiday! Then we ate dinner in the buffet there. The buffet is $27 per person. But it's not like an average buffet. It was beautiful with great waiters/waitress's and the buffet area had chefs cooking the food right there in front of you and divine deserts. It had an array of different types of food and almost everything I tasted was to die for. I had quail and buffalo!

Then we went to the show called "O". WOW, what an experience!!! Kelly and I kept sneaking to take pictures. You're not supposed to take pictures in the building but everything was so neat looking. Swimmers and dancers and whippers and slingers. It was crazy! It didn't seem real. I couldn't believe some of the dives and tricks these people were doing. The gymnasts were better than some Olympians I've seen on television.

las vegas venetian hotel picture

After the show, we went back out into the casino area and played some slot games! I had never played any before and it was really fun! As long as you're gambling, they serve you free drinks, whatever you want. We tried White Zinfandel and a strawberry daiquiri. One thing about Vegas that really stuck out to me is that you can do so many things without using a dime. There are light shows and gorgeous casinos and lobbies and clubs you can go to and experience without any admission to get in.

Monday we ate at the Original Pancake House!!! Woohoo!!! This place looks like an average restaurant and I would compare it to Perkins or Dennys. But when the food came, I was shocked!!! We ordered strawberry pancakes, banana crepes, and the Irish omelet. I would highly recommend this place to anyone who likes breakfast food! I usually never order breakfast anywhere but this food was absolutely the best breakfast I had ever had in my entire life! They served fresh handmade whipped cream with the pancakes and the banana crepes were perfect. The Irish omelet was bigger than my head and was delicious! And one serving fed all three of us. Also, the pricing was the same as Perkins and I-Hop, but the service was like Outback or Red Lobster.

Next, we went on to the Red Rock 13 mile loop drive. It was hot outside but not muggy like Florida. The view was magnificent! I am personally impressed with all the man made beautiful buildings, clubs and restaurants in Vegas, but the God made mountains and sky is what astonishes me the most. I was amazed the mountains were so beautiful. There are little stop off points like every mile on this 13 mile drive, where you can stop off go to the restroom and take pictures.

Sarah, Kelly and Dad in Las Vegas outside Cafe Ba Ba Reba

Red Rock Casino - WOWOWOWOW! I think this one may have been my favorite. There were these huge chandeliers hanging in the lobby that were bigger than my car. The architecture and art inside was breathtaking! And the pool area is stunning. We sat in the beautiful lobby area and shared a margarita and just enjoyed the beauty all around us. After Red Rock, we went home and rested for a few hours. And after we awoke, back to exploring Vegas!!!

Next on the list was Mandalay Bay, wonderful. My favorite part of Mandalay Bay was the House Of Blues, Rock Star Karaoke!!!! I've been to plenty of karaoke clubs but none can compare. It was so classy and comfortable. Everyone had their own table to sit at and the bar area was really nice. The drinks weren't very expensive. You sing on a big stage with a live band, and once again this place is free to get in. I sang with the band!!! I was so nervous but it was so much fun! I have to give props to the band because they really rock! I sang "Fallin" by Alicia Keys and the lead singer (who was a rocker guy) started the song out for me in a high voice! LOL. It was good clean fun!!!

Tuesday we went to Caesar's Palace!!! Wow. This place is extremely beautiful. This is my favorite place in Vegas! The architecture kept me looking in every direction and kept my camera very busy! Everywhere you turned there was another beautiful designed fountain. The ceilings were painted like a cloudy sky, I was impressed. Later we went to Cafe' Ba Ba Reba and it is adorable!!! I wish there were more places like this in my city. You can either lounge outside and eat and drink or go inside for happy hour, a meal and a good time. We ordered Peach Sangria to drink. I had never tasted this but it was delicious. I loved it. Also we ordered appetizers for our meal. We had bacon wrapped dates, pardon peppers, olives, chicken empanadas and grilled squid. These appetizers were $3.00 each. And they were cooked very well. My favorite is the bacon wrapped dates. The inside of the cafe had dimmed lights and nice music but you didn't have to dress up to get in or anything, it was pretty casual.

picture of las vegas strip from the top of rio

Wednesday we ate the lunch buffet at Gandhi India Restaurant. Once again, I had never tried this type of food but I liked it. Indian food isn't my favorite but it was good and inexpensive and authentic. We then went to the Venetian shops. The Venetian casino was magnificent! Again, beautiful architecture and many things to look at. I enjoyed it very much. We ordered some Italian Gelato, which is ice cream. It's actually beautiful to look at. It doesn't look real because it's so colorful and has fresh fruit on it. But it was wonderful! Then, we went to dad's house to rest up for my last evening in Vegas.

At the Rio observation deck as we watched the beautiful sun going down around us I felt hesitant to leave. Would I make it home safe on the plane? Would I become bored back at home after being in such a sublime place for an entire week? Would I ever be able to come back to Vegas? I started thinking about all the "Sin City" talk and became a little angry. Any city in the world can be "Sin City". But Las Vegas is what you make Las Vegas. You can either go there and sin (like any other place) or you can go there for one of the most life changing experiences of your life. I prefer to go there for a life changing experience. And I can only thank my very special father, Jason, and his amazing wife, Kelly, for that. Thank you for the best gift I've ever received.

One thing I realized about Vegas is that there are so many different things to do. My dad lives near the strip in a very nice condo and 15 minutes away from a great time every night. God made this entire universe. He did not make it for us to destroy. He made it for us to enjoy. He did not make it for us to ignore. He made it for us to explore. Make the world what you want, don't miss a wonderful vacation because you've been told that Las Vegas is Sin City and evil! Come see for yourself. It's another wonderful place that God created for this girl's first Las Vegas trip.

American Road Trips - reviews & pictures of places we visited on $20 a day - food, gas and lodging.


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